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State Unveils 3 Million Euro for Training Principals

A fund of €3m is to be made available by the Department of Education to expand supports for Principals and Teachers aspiring to the role.

The Centre for School Leadership will be set up shortly, in partnership with two principals’ organisations, building on their work to mentor and support those who head up schools.

There have been increasing difficulties getting applicants for the role of principal at primary and second-level, largely associated with perceptions about the workload.

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) at second level, and the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) already offer a range of supports for newcomers. But they also offer ongoing assistance to those in the job.

The department has decided to spend €3m over the next three years on the new centre, with postgraduate qualifications for those interested in becoming leaders to be the focus this year.

“We know that we need to better prepare people to become school leaders, but we also need to support them better once they are in leadership roles,” said Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan.

“That will be the main focus of the Centre for School Leadership, on induction programmes, coaching and mentoring support.”

Such a centre has long been called for by both groups, with IPPN already moving during 2014 to set up a National Centre for Leadership and Innovation.

At an Oireachtas education committee hearing earlier in the year, the NAPD proposed a leadership and planning centre to involve both organisations, together with the expertise in the department’s own professional development services, and other education partners.

All existing funded leadership programmes are to be reviewed, with plans for the new centre to build on the work of existing support services for school leaders.

“When you walk into a school, you immediately know a lot about the culture and climate of the school. Positive environments are what we want for all of our children,” the minister said.

She said that can be achieved by providing top quality teachers, working alongside highly-trained, confident school leaders.

(Article and image courtesy of Irish Examiner).